Author: Juli Fraga
Majority of new parents have scary thoughts about something terrible happening to their baby. A psychotherapist explains why this happens and when you should be worried.
It's a familiar scenario for many new parents: it's the middle of the night, and you've just fed the baby, but you can't fall back to sleep, because you're worried the baby might stop breathing. Parenting classes taught you the basics of newborn baby care, but didn't teach you how to alleviate your new mommy jitters.
Caring for a newborn baby is an enormous responsibility filled with emotional highs and lows. During this vulnerable transition, it's common to worry about the baby's health and well-being. For many mothers, jarring thoughts, such as "What if I hurt the baby?" or "What if I drop my baby?" can catch them off guard. Without warning, these worries can arise, interrupting the joy of parenthood.
But while these thoughts are uncomfortable and unnerving, they are pretty common. "These are 'scary thoughts,'" says Karen Kleiman, LCSW, a psychotherapist specializing in maternal mental health.
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